Hurling, is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic and Irish origin, administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association. The game has prehistoric origins, and has played for 3,000 years. One of Irelands native Gaelic games, it shares a number of features with Gaelic football, such as the field and goals, the number of players, there is a similar game for women called camogie. It shares a common Gaelic root with the sport of shinty, the sliotar can be caught in the hand and carried for not more than four steps, struck in the air, or struck on the ground with the hurley. It can be kicked, or slapped with a hand for short-range passing. A player who wants to carry the ball for more than four steps has to bounce or balance the sliotar on the end of the stick, no protective padding is worn by players. A plastic protective helmet with a faceguard is mandatory for all age groups, including senior level, the game has been described as a bastion of humility, with player names absent from jerseys and a players number decided by his position on the field.
Hurling is played throughout the world, and is popular among members of the Irish diaspora in North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina, in many parts of Ireland, hurling is a fixture of life. It has featured regularly in art such as film, music. A team comprises 15 players, or hurlers, the hurley is generally 24 to 36 inches in length. The ball, known as a sliotar, has a cork centre, the goalkeepers hurley usually has a bas twice the size of other players hurleys to provide some advantage against the fast moving sliotar. A good strike with a hurley can propel the ball over 150 km/h in speed and 110 metres in distance, a ball hit over the bar is worth one point. A ball that is hit under the bar is called a goal and is three points. As of 2010, all players must wear a helmet, a hurling pitch is similar in some respects to a rugby pitch but larger. The grass pitch is rectangular, stretching 130–145 metres long and 80–90 m wide. There are H-shaped goalposts at each end, formed by two posts, which are usually 6–7 metres high, set 6.5 m apart, a net extending behind the goal is attached to the crossbar and lower goal posts.
The same pitch is used for Gaelic football, the GAA, lines are marked at distances of 14 yards,21 yards and 65 yards from each end-line. Shorter pitches and smaller goals are used by youth teams, teams consist of fifteen players, a goalkeeper, three full backs, three half backs, two midfielders, three half forwards and three full forwards
Croke Park is a GAA stadium located in Dublin, Ireland. Named in honour of Archbishop Thomas Croke, it is often called Croker by some GAA fans and it serves both as the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association. Since 1884 the site has been used primarily by the GAA to host Gaelic games, most notably the annual All-Ireland finals in football and hurling. Both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2003 Special Olympics, during the construction of the Aviva Stadium, Croke Park hosted games played by the Ireland national rugby union team and the Republic of Ireland national football team. The area now known as Croke Park was owned in the 1880s by Maurice Butterly and known as the City and Suburban Racecourse, from 1890 it was used by the Bohemian Football Club. In 1901 Jones Road hosted the IFA Cup football final when Cliftonville defeated Freebooters, recognising the potential of the Jones Road sports ground a journalist and GAA member, Frank Dineen, borrowed much of the £3,250 asking price and bought the ground in 1908.
In 1913 the GAA came into ownership of the plot when they purchased it from Dineen for £3,500. The ground was renamed Croke Park in honour of Archbishop Thomas Croke, in 1913, Croke Park had only two stands on what is now known as the Hogan stand side and grassy banks all round. In 1917, a hill was constructed on the railway end of Croke Park to afford patrons a better view of the pitch. This terrace was known as Hill 16 as it was built from the ruins of the 1916 Easter Rising, in the 1920s, the GAA set out to create a high capacity stadium at Croke Park. Following the Hogan Stand, the Cusack Stand, named after Michael Cusack from Clare, was built in 1927,1936 saw the first double-deck Cusack Stand open with 5,000 seats, and concrete terracing being constructed on Hill 16. In 1952 the Nally Stand was built in memorial of Pat Nally, seven years later, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the GAA, the first cantilevered New Hogan Stand was opened. The highest attendance recorded at an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was 90,556 for Offaly v Down in 1961.
Since the introduction of seating to the Cusack stand in 1966, during the Irish War of Independence on 21 November 1920 Croke Park was the scene of a massacre by the Royal Irish Constabulary. The Police, supported by the British Auxiliary Division entered the ground, the dead included 13 spectators and Tipperary player, Michael Hogan. Posthumously, the Hogan stand built in 1924 was named in his honour, in 1984 the organisation decided to investigate ways to increase the capacity of the old stadium. The design for an 80,000 capacity stadium was completed in 1991, Gaelic sports have special requirements as they take place on a large field. A specific requirement was to ensure the spectators were not too far from the field of play and this resulted in the three-tier design from which viewing games is possible, the main concourse, a premium level incorporating hospitality facilities and an upper concourse
Christy Ring Cup
The Christy Ring Cup is the second tier senior inter-county championship in hurling after the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. Each year, the team in the Christy Ring Cup is promoted to the All-Ireland Championship. The Christy Ring Cup was introduced for the 2005 season and it replaced the All-Ireland Senior B Hurling Championship. The winners of the championship receive the Christy Ring Cup, named after former Cork hurler Christy Ring who many regard as the greatest hurler of all time, in the 2016 season and Antrim tied in the final. For history before 2004, see All-Ireland Senior B Hurling Championship In 2003 the Hurling Development Committee was charged with restructuring the entire hurling championship. The committee was composed of chairman Pat Dunny, Liam Griffin, P. J. OGrady, Ger Loughnane, Cyril Farrell, Jimmy OReilly, Willie Ring, Pat Daly and Nicky English. Over the course of three months they held discussions with managers and officials, while taking a submission from the Gaelic Players Association.
The basic tenet of the proposals was to structure the hurling championship into three tiers in accordance with 2004 National Hurling League status. The top tier was confined to 12 teams, while the ten teams would contest the second tier which was to be known as the Christy Ring Cup. There would be promotion-relegation play-offs between the three championship tiers, the HDC suggested that these games would be played as curtain raisers to All-Ireland quarter-finals and semi-finals. The proposal were accepted at the 2005 GAA Congress, the Christy Ring Cup and the Nicky Rackard Cup competitions were launched at Croke Park on 8 December 2004. The ten participating teams were divided into two groups of five and played in a round-robin format, each team was guaranteed at least four games each. The eventual group winners and runners-up qualified for the knock-out semi-finals of the competition, the bottom two teams of both groups were involved in a four-way relegation play-off with the eventual loser being relegated to the Nicky Rackard Cup.
In 2006 the relegation play-off was limited to just the teams in both groups, while in 2007 there was no relegation. The competition was expanded to twelve teams. The participating teams were divided into four groups of three and played in a format, thus limiting each team to just two games each. The eventual group winners and runners-up qualified for the knock-out quarter-finals of the competition, the bottom team in each group went into the relegation play-offs. The eventual losers were relegated to the Nicky Rackard Cup, however, in 2009 a double elimination format was introduced, thus guaranteeing each team at least two games before being eliminated from the competition
Leinster Senior Hurling Championship
It is one of the most prestigious hurling tournaments in Ireland and the most prestigious inter-county hurling competition in the province of Leinster. The championship has been awarded every year since 1888, originally played on a straight knockout basis, in the current format the four weaker teams play in an initial qualifier group. The top two teams in the group and the seeded teams complete the championship on a straight knockout basis whereby once a team loses they are eliminated. The Leinster Championship is an part of the wider GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship. The winners of the Leinster final, like their counterparts in the Munster Championship, are rewarded by advancing directly to the stage of the All-Ireland series of games. The losers of the Leinster final enter the All-Ireland series at the quarter-final stage, nine teams currently participate in the Leinster Championship, including Galway from Connacht and Kerry from Munster. The most successful team in hurling, namely Kilkenny, play their provincial hurling in the Leinster Championship and they have won the provincial title on 71 occasions during their history while claiming 36 All-Ireland titles, both of these are all-time records.
The title has been won at least once by six counties, the Leinster Championship begins with an initial qualifier group and becomes a straight knock-out competition. The draw is made in October of the previous year. The competition has become more competitive since the emergence of Dublin as a hurling power, each match is played as a single leg. If a match is drawn there is a replay, drawn replays are now settled with extra time, however, if both sides are still level at the end of extra time a second replay takes place and so on until a winner is found. If the quarter-finals end in draws, extra time is played immediately as replays are only permitted for provincial semi-finals and finals, the format had remained virtually the same since the very first Leinster Championship in 1888. The biggest change to the format took place in 2009. Antrim GAA, being the only Tier 1 team in the Ulster Championship, however, will still compete in the Ulster Championship which will be run as a separate tournament to the All-Ireland Hurling Championship.
In 2014 the five counties in the Leinster championship played in a qualifier group before the main championship. This was reduced to four in 2015, nine counties currently participate in the Leinster Championship — Carlow, Galway, Kilkenny, Offaly and Wexford. Qualifier Group Stage The four weaker counties in the play a round robin group stage. Every team plays the three teams once
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, in 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.4 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.6 million live in the Republic of Ireland, the islands geography comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild, thick woodlands covered the island until the Middle Ages. As of 2013, the amount of land that is wooded in Ireland is about 11% of the total, there are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is moderate and classified as oceanic.
As a result, winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, summers are cooler than those in Continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant, the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century CE, the island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Following the Norman invasion in the 12th century, England claimed sovereignty over Ireland, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, with the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s and this subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, especially in the fields of literature.
Alongside mainstream Western culture, an indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music. The culture of the island shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, and sports such as association football, horse racing. The name Ireland derives from Old Irish Eriu and this in turn derives from Proto-Celtic *Iveriu, which is the source of Latin Hibernia. Iveriu derives from a root meaning fat, during the last glacial period, and up until about 9000 years ago, most of Ireland was covered with ice, most of the time
The Limerick County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association or Limerick GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in County Limerick. The county board is responsible for the Limerick inter-county teams. Several books tell the story of Limerick GAA Limerick has a long, in 1897, its first outright success was achieved in hurling when a Kilfinane side defeated Tullaroan of Kilkenny in the final. The county team won the All-Ireland in 1918, a feat repeated in 1921 when they won the inaugural Liam MacCarthy Cup. The sides that achieved those wins contained many players who were on Limerick teams that contested seven Munster finals in a row, the 1930s were the salad days of Limerick hurling, an era in which the county won five National Leagues in a row, a record still unequalled. They won four Munster Championships in a row, and remain the only county other than Cork to have done so, after winning All-Irelands in 1934 and 1936, another outright success was achieved in 1940.
Victory in 1940 left Limerick, with six All-Irelands, as the county outside of the big three, to have won more than one All-Ireland hurling title. Dublin had six All Ireland Senior Hurling at that time, the county fell on quieter times and has won only one Senior All Ireland title, in 1973. However six National Leagues were won between 1947 and 1995, and three Under-21 All Irelands in a row in the early 2000s. In 2007 Limerick beat Tipperary in a thrilling Munster Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final which is now known as the Trilogy, the final score line of the 2nd replay was 0.22 to 2.13. 30,608 fans witnessed this now historic occasion as Limerick had not beaten Tipperary since 1996, Limerick subsequently lost the Munster Final to Waterford on 8 July in Thurles. They regrouped and beat Clare in the All-Ireland Quarter-Final on 29 July, Andrew OShaughnessy picked up the Man of the Match award in this match. On 12 August, they played Waterford in the Semi-Final, a rematch of the Munster Final a month previously.
Fortunately for Limerick though, the result was not to be the same, a scoreline of 5,11 -2,15 was enough to defeat the Deise Men. The goals came from Donie Ryan, Andrew OShaughnessy and Brian Begley, O Shaughnessy once again picked up the MotM award for his fine display. On 2 September 2007 in Croke Park, Limerick played in the All-Ireland Hurling Final, lady Luck did not strike twice however and it was to be Kilkennys day. Final score, Kilkenny 2-19 - 1-15 Limerick, in 2008, with many predicting that Limerick would secure Munster and All-Ireland titles, the county was drawn against Clare in the first round of the championship. Clare defeated them on a score-line of 4-12 to 1-16 and this meant that Limerick were now entered in a newly revised All-Ireland qualifying system against Offaly
It is one of the constituent counties of Munster GAA. Cork is one of the few counties in Ireland, competing in a similar level in both gaelic football and hurling. As of the end of the 2015 National Leagues, Cork compete in the top division of both sports, by comparison, Cork has only won All-Ireland Senior Football Championship seven times. Traditionally football is strongest in the half of the county. Hurling is the dominant sport in the east, with such as Sarsfields. Naturally, there are exceptions to this rule of thumb, with hurling pockets in football areas, one example is Fermoy in east Cork, which has seven Cork football titles to its name. As well as this, the St. Finbarrs club in the city has eight Cork football titles and 25 in hurling, Corks current GAA crest is based on the traditional coat of arms of Cork city. Like the coat of arms, the crest features the Kings old castle, the centre foreground of the crest features a ship, as does the coat of arms. This is due to Corks history as a city, shown in the city motto Statio Bene Fida Carinis.
The badge features two footballs, along with a pair of hurleys. Corks traditional colours are red and white, but this was not always the case, in its early days of competing, the county wore a blue jersey with a saffron-coloured C emblazoned on the chest. This was changed in 1919 when the Cork hurlers were preparing to play Dublin in the All-Ireland Final, in the week leading up to the game, British forces broke into the county board offices on Maylor Street in the city centre and seized the Cork jerseys. Because of the loss of their kit, the county board borrowed jerseys from the now-defunct Father OLeary Temperance Association team, Cork went on to win the game, ending a sixteen-year spell without a trophy. Following this win Cork decided to wear the red jerseys in their future games. This red and white colour scheme has led to the Cork strip being nicknamed the blood, a colour clash with Louth in the 1957 All-Ireland Football Final saw Cork wear the blue jerseys again, but this occasion saw the team wear the blue jersey of the province of Munster.
In 1976 Corks footballers became involved in an incident known as the three stripes affair, before the Munster football final Cork were offered a set of Adidas jerseys. The use of these jerseys caused controversy as it seemed to undermine the promotion of Irish manufacturers, Corks alternative colours are traditionally white jerseys and white shorts. These alternate colours were worn in the 1973 All-Ireland Football Final when Cork defeated Galway to claim their fourth title and they were worn again in the 2010 Final when Cork defeated Down for their seventh title
The county board is responsible for the Wexford inter-county teams. Wexford is one of the few counties to have won the All-Ireland Senior Championship in both football and hurling, Wexford have won five Football Championships, with the most recent in 1918. Hurling has been played in Wexford from medieval times, evidence of this can be found in the hurling ballads of the 15th and 16th centuries. Others have said that King George III shouted come on the yellow bellies at a match near London. Wexford had one of the greatest football teams in the history of the GAA in the 1910s, winning six Leinster, the team was trained by 1900 star James the Bull Roche, who had fought for the World Heavyweight boxing Championship. Ned Wheeler, Aidan Doyle and the OKennedy brothers, the latter was the team captain. The feat of six Leinster titles in a row was only equalled in 1931 when Kildare won the sixth in a sequence began in 1926. Wexfords last major success was winning the Leinster title in 1945. From on, hurling took precedence in Wexford and as a consequence the Wexford footballers suffered, more recently, Wexford have had a strong team.
The team reached the Division 1 League final of 2005 under the management of Pat Roe but were beaten by a strong Armagh team that day. In April 2008, in Jason Ryans first year as manager of the team and this proved to be the first success of what would be a historic year for Wexford football, as they reached their first Leinster final in over 50 years. Along the way they stunned Meath by coming from ten points down to win their quarter-final in Carlow and this was Wexfords 5th consecutive appearance in the provincial semi-final, but their first victory. In the final they were beaten by a strong Dublin team. However, Wexford recovered from their humiliation and came through the door, beating Down by seven points in a shock result to reach the last eight. From here, they produced one of the shocks of the championship and they were beaten by 6 points by Tyrone, having been within two points of the eventual champions in the closing stages. Wexford again reached the Leinster final in the 2011 Leinster Championship, Wexford had an easier run to the final than in 2008, facing Offaly and Carlow.
In the final they faced Dublin again, but ran them much closer, Wexford entered Round 4 of the qualifiers where they faced Limerick, but they were beaten by a single point, on a score of 1–18 to 1–17. This is in evidence in several one-sided results over the years, the Antrim team were beaten by 12–17 to 2–3 in a 1954 All-Ireland semi-final
1978 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final
The match was held at Croke Park, Dublin, on 3 September 1978, between Cork and Kilkenny. The Leinster champions lost to their Munster opponents on a line of 1-15 to 2-8. In the early days of 1978 Corks hurling followers wondered if the county senior team would complete the holy grail of capturing three consecutive All-Ireland wins in-a-row. A poor showing in the National Hurling League discouraged the followers, Cork had defeated Wexford in the two previous championship deciders, however, to defeat their old rivals Kilkenny to capture the third in-a-row would prove the worth of this team. It was the first championship meeting of two teams since Kilkenny defeated Cork in the All-Ireland final of 1972. Sunday 3 September was the date of the All-Ireland final and conditions were almost excellent with sunshine in the stages of the game. The game began at a pace with Jimmy Barry-Murphy grabbing the sliothar on the wing after the throw-in. His shot went straight over the bar to put Cork on the scoreboard after just twenty-five seconds of play, immediately after the puck-out the play switched to the Cork goalmouth, however, a Frank Cummins shot went wide.
Back at the end of the field after the puck-out team captain Charlie McCarthy did likewise for Cork when his first shot of the day went wide. Soon after this the ball broke to Ray Cummins down on the wing on the Hogan Stand side and his shot was not a good one and was pulled down by Kilkenny goalkeeper Noel Skehan and was promptly cleared. What could have been another Cork score quickly turned into a Kilkenny attack, as the sliothar was sent into the Cork goalmouth two of the team’s defenders collided as it dropped to Liam ‘Chunky’ O’Brien. O’Brien flicked it onto Kevin Fennelly who had a tap into the net to capture Kilkenny’s first score of the afternoon. Almost immediately Brian Cody had the opportunity to his three points up, his shot went wide. Cork’s ultra accurate free-taker, John Horgan, did likewise for his team soon afterwards when his long-range free tailed wide, after another intensive tussle around midfield the ball broke to Ray Cummins once again and he took off on a solo run in the direction of Kilkenny’s goal.
As he edged nearer he was pulled down and a penalty was awarded, Tim Crowley stepped up to take the penalty and had every intention of going for a goal. His shot was a one, however, it was stopped by Noel Skehan who cleared his lines. The next score of the day came for Cork when 21-year-old Tom Cashman pointed for his team, shortly after the puck-out Cork were awarded a free in their own half. John Horgan stepped up to take the free and, while his effort was a good one, the sliothar eventually broke to Gerald McCarthy who slotted over Cork’s third point to level the sides for the first time
All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship
Where five Sundays occur in September, the final is held on the second Sunday in September. The Championship was initially a straight knockout competition open only to the champions of each of the four provinces of Ireland, during the 1990s the competition was expanded, firstly incorporating a back-door system and a round-robin group phase involving more games. The Championship currently consists of several stages, in the present format, it begins in late May with provincial championships held in Leinster and Munster. Once a team is defeated in the stage they are granted one more chance to compete for the title. Thirteen teams currently participate in the Championship, the most dominant teams coming from the provinces of Leinster and Munster, Kilkenny and Tipperary are considered the big three of hurling. Between them, these teams have won 93 out of 129 championships completed during its history, the title has been won by 13 different teams,10 of which have won the title more than once. The all-time record-holders are Kilkenny, who have won the competition 36 times, the current All-Ireland champions are Tipperary.
At the third meeting of the new organisation in January 1885, in 1886 county boards were created to run the affairs of the various counties that participated in the competition. By 1887 the first All-Ireland Hurling Championship took place with five teams participating, for the first few years of the championship the various counties were represented by the team who won the county club championship. For instance, the 1887 championship saw Thurles representing Tipperary and Meelick representing Galway, dedicated inter-county teams were only introduced in 1895 when Cork put forward a mixture of all the best players from that countys best local clubs. Over the early years various changes were made in the rules of hurling, teams were reduced from 21 players to 17 and eventually to the current number of 15, and the rules regarding the value of a goal were tweaked in the first few years of the competition. The provincial championships were introduced in 1888 in Munster, Connacht, the winners of the provincial finals participated in the All-Ireland semi-finals.
Over time the Leinster and Munster teams grew to become the superpowers of the game, as Gaelic football was the dominant sport in Ulster. After some time Galway became the only team in Connacht and was essentially given an automatic pass to the All-Ireland semi-final every year. This knock-out system persisted for over 100 years and was considered to be the fairest system as the All-Ireland champions would always be the only undefeated team of the year. In the mid-1990s the Gaelic Athletic Association looked at developing a new system whereby a defeat in the championship for teams would not mean an immediate exit from the Championship. In the 1997 championship the first major change in format arrived when the system was introduced. This new structure allowed the defeated Munster and Leinster finalists another chance to regain a place in the All-Ireland semi-finals and Kilkenny were the first two teams to benefit from the new system when they defeated Down and Galway respectively in the quarter-finals